Kansas City, KS – Domestic poultry flocks in the Sunflower State are at increased risk of contracting Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, or HPAI – a highly contagious influenza type A virus that’s carried by wild waterfowl. Because light goose hunters are likely to encounter wild birds this time of year, KDWP is asking hunters to engage in best practices to minimize inadvertent spread of the virus that can cause severe illness and/or sudden death in domestic poultry flocks.

“Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza is carried by ducks, geese and shorebirds and presents itself differently in different species,” said Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) wildlife disease coordinator Shane Hesting. “Some wild birds carry it without symptoms, while some get sick and die. There is also the chance the virus is adapting and becoming more virulent, so we must be as vigilant as possible to prevent unintentional spread to new areas.”

What Hunters Need To Know

What Hunters Can Do

“KDWP continues to work alongside our partners at the state and federal level to monitor this virus, but minimizing its spread requires the help of everyone, hunters included” added Hesting. “Stay vigilant, follow proper biosecurity protocols, and if something doesn’t appear right in a flock, be sure to report it.”

For more information on HPAI, visit KDA’s avian influenza webpage at agriculture.ks.gov/AvianInfluenza or the APHIS website at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/avian-influenza/2022-hpai